The Borneo Post, July 5, 2012
KUCHING: The Welfare, Women and Family Development Ministry welcomes the setting up of the Soroptimist International Kuching chapter to help its agenda of empowering women in the state.
Its minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said Soroptimist International (SI) chapter through its various training programme under the ‘Purplelily initiative’ would enable and provide opportunities for young women to enhance global networking, while gaining experience in leadership and skills training.
This would help the government achieve its target of having at least 30 per cent women in decision-making positions in the public and private sectors.
“Soroptimist International will provide opportunities for young women, notably school leavers, to empower them to become professionals and future leaders. This ministry encourages and helps non-governmental organisations (NGOs) source for funds to do charity work.
“NGOs can be considered our strategic partners,” the Dalat assemblywoman told reporters after receiving a courtesy call from SI Kuching Chapter president charter (2012-2014) Audry Wan Ullok and member Ginette Collin, who is director of the Purplelily initiative, at her office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here yesterday.
The SI Kuching Chapter is getting registered with the Registrar of Society (ROS) after the setup was accepted by the global SI organisation. The chapter will be installed this Saturday.
Saying it was important for NGOs to help lift the low income group out of poverty, Fatimah added that women with good income always look after their children and family, which was important for the development of the future generation.
Audry, when addressing the press earlier, mentioned education and empowerment of women and young girls as its main agenda. The organisation will organise life skill training for them especially for those from the low income group, leadership workshop, financial management courses and many more.
Another programme is environmental awareness. Audry who is also Sarawak Tourism Federation chairperson said a recycling and environmental project would take place at Kpg Sadir, Padawan.
A four-day conference by the Southwest Pacific Region SI will take place in the city in April or May 2014. Some 500 delegates from countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Fiji, Cambodia and Korea are expected to participate.
“We take this conference as an opportunity to showcase Sarawak as a unique and attractive tourism destination,” she continued.
Touching on financial education as provided by the Purplelily project, Collin said training includes for financial management, structure and system.
“If they can take control of their finance, it will give women power of some sort,” she said.
Soroptimist International, the largest women service organisation in the world, boasts of 95,000 members from 125 different countries worldwide. Its main headquarters is in the United Kingdom.